Today, I'm delighted to help you get to know one of my favorite people I've never met in real life. Beth Westcott is a fellow Scrivenings author and one of the best encouragers I've ever known. She lives way up in New York, but I've enjoyed chatting with her online and always feel well-supported by her as my own books release. She's about to have a new book come out, too, and I'm thrilled to find out more about it (I just finished reading the first one in the series and am eager to know what happens next). So, settle in and read on to find out about Beth and her books.
Congratulations on your third book being published next month! I'm excited to read it. Do you feel you learn something new with each one?
Thank you, Amy. Yes, I learn much more about writing well with each book, more about character and plot development. We have some great editors at Scrivenings Press, and I’m thankful for their help.
This is the second book in your Three Sisters series. How hard did you find it to make sure everything tied together smoothly between the books (I'm learning with my own series that it's not always the easiest)?
A Heart’s Journey was the first book I wrote, although it’s the second book in the series. Once I wrote Heart’s Desire, I had to make sure the second book lined up with the first. I’ve written the third book, Her Heart’s Longing, but because of changes I made in A Heart’s Journey, I must make changes in the third book. It’s certainly a challenge to keep the details straight. I began writing the series many years ago. Developing character biographies and flexible outlines has helped.
What made you choose to do a series on three sisters?
I started writing about friendship. I enjoy stories about best friends who remain best friends throughout life, although my own life didn’t follow that path. The Three Sisters are not biological sisters. Aubrey, Haleigh, and Katie became “best friends forever” early in life. They did almost everything together, had similar tastes, and had each others’ backs.
Aubrey’s brother Willie had a passion for gardening and learned the legend about the Three Sisters, crops (corn, beans, and squash) grown together by Native Americans. The three friends fit the description of the three sisters in the legend, so he began calling them The Three Sisters, and that’s how they were known.
However, as the three friends grew up, their interests diverged, and they each made choices that broke their friendship. This series is about the healing of their relationship and each young woman finding true love.
I know one of your characters in this novel is a florist. Have you ever had experience working in a business like that?
I enjoy growing flowers and thought I might like working for a florist, but I never have.
This story sounds a bit like a second-chance romance, where she comes back to her hometown and falls in love with the man who has always liked her. Is that one of your favorite tropes? If not, which one is? And why?
I suppose it’s sort of a second chance romance. Haleigh is only a teenager when she leaves Greenlawn, and she returns after college graduation seeking forgiveness and renewed friendships, not romance. Next to Aubrey and Katie, Willie had been her best friend. When she refused to communicate with him or anyone else in Greenlawn, she hurt him. Now that she’s back, he wants to explore the possibility of a deeper relationship with her, but he’s afraid to risk his heart until he knows it’s what she wants.
Heart’s Desire is a friends to lovers romance. Kate and Jack in Meadow Song are strangers when they meet. Kate’s fiancé had died, so her relationship with Jack is her second chance. In Her Heart’s Longing, coming in 2023, Katie and Jackson had met in college, but they hardly know each other when the story begins.
I don’t think I have an intentional favorite trope, although second chance at romance seems to sneak in.
Since the series says it has three sisters, I'm assuming your next book will be about the third sister. :-) Do you have anything fun planned for that book? Or for afterwards?
Book #3, Her Heart’s Longing, is Katie’s story. She’s a nurse, and she’s warm, friendly, and vibrant.
Her bad choice as a teenager entirely disrupted her life, and it left her wiser but hesitant to pursue a romantic relationship. Oh, yes, Katie adopts an abandoned kitten and names her Chloe. Book #3 concludes the series.
I’m working on a sequel to my first novel, Meadow Song.
Exciting! I'm eager to see what you do with those characters.
What is something you love to do when you're not writing/editing?
I love to read and enjoy sewing and gardening. For fun I like taking photographs, which I often share on social media posts.
Last, but not least, what is something fun you can tell us about yourself that very few people know?
I spent 14 weeks in England, from September through December,1972, as part of a college term abroad. Along with a group of fellow English majors, I attended classes at the University of Sussex in Brighton and had time to explore a bit of the country. I went to Cornwall, where I met my great uncle Arthur.
That is so interesting! I have family living in England for a while right now and am always a bit jealous of those who get to go. Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Beth! We enjoyed chatting with you.
To those who want to know more about Beth and her most recent book, keep reading!
Haleigh Abbot returns to Greenlawn, her childhood home, seeking forgiveness and renewed friendships. Willie White hires her to work in his florist shop. Drawn to Willie by his kindness, strength, and faith, Haleigh refuses to allow their relationship to go beyond friendship. Although forgiven and accepted back into the Greenlawn community, shadows of fear and guilt from the past still cling to her. When a little boy and his dog under her care are hurt in a terrible accident, she goes into an emotional tailspin.
Haleigh has held a special place in Willie’s heart since childhood. When she left Greenlawn and shut him out of her life, it hurt, but he never forgot her. Her return gives him an opportunity to win her heart. Will her determination to prove she can handle life’s challenges on her own stand in his way?
Beth began her writing career in second grade when a poem she wrote about her lamb appeared in the school newspaper. She wrote puppet plays that she performed with her brother for elementary school talent shows, and she later wrote ventriloquist routines for her husband to perform with his dummies.
A life-long lover of books and reading, A Heart’s Journey is Beth’s third contemporary Christian romance novel, after Meadow Song and Heart’s Desire. Some of her church holiday manuscripts were published in Lillenas Drama’s Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving Program Builders, and several devotions appeared in Penned from the Heart and The Secret Place. Her short story for preteens, “Sadie and the Princess” is included in Heartwarming Horse Stories, available from Amazon.
A Heart’s Journey is the second book in the Three Sisters Series, following Heart’s Desire. The third of the Three Sisters books, Her Heart’s Longing, is scheduled to be released in July 2023.
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